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PSY1020 Foundation Psychology B

Semester 1, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology

Contents on this page


Examiner: Andrea Lamont-Mills
Moderator: Lorelle Burton


Psychology is all about understanding why people think and act as they do, and how people differ. This course is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the main concepts, techniques and theoretical perspectives in psychology, and complements the material presented and examined in PSY1010 Foundation Psychology A. Students will gain an appreciation of the major fields within the discipline, learn about the research process, and build skills in writing research reports in a standard style (APA).


This course, in combination with PSY1010 Foundation Psychology A, is designed to provide students with an overall perspective of the scope, nature, and methods involved in psychological research. The major concepts examined in this course (via the 5 multiple choice CMA tests given during semester) include Memory and Learning Strategies, Research Methods in Psychology, the Biological Basis of Behaviour, Motivation and Emotion, Sensation and Perception, Learning through Classical and Operant Conditioning, Intelligence, Thought and Language, and Consciousness. Students will also build skills in writing for a Research report (Assignment 1). This assignment will be written in the style specified by the American Psychological Association (APA). In addition, students will participate in psychological research for course credit (Assignment 2).


On completion of this course students will be able to demonstrate:

  1. An understanding of the scope of Psychology and the relationships between its fields;
  2. An understanding of what is meant by being scientific, and thinking critically;
  3. An understanding of research methods in Psychology, and the place and function of methodology in the behavioural sciences;
  4. Knowledge of the topics Memory & Research Methods (CMA Test 1-5), Biological Aspects of Behaviour & Motivation and Emotion (CMA Test 2-5), Sensation and Perception (CMA Test 3-5), Learning & Intelligence (CMA Test 4-5), Thought and Language & Consciousness (CMA Test 5);
  5. An ability to summarise and evaluate research findings related to aspects of the above topics;
  6. An ability to follow specific writing, organisation, and style guidelines in accordance with the 6th edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA);
  7. Participation in, or conduct of, psychological research studies.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Practical Report - introduction to report writing skills - research methods 45.00
2. Participating in the experimental process of psychological research 5.00
3. Memory - approaches to memory - sensory memory - short-term memory - long-term memory - forgetting - memory improvement - biology of memory 6.00
4. Research Methods - characteristics of good research - the experimental process - descriptive methods - correlational research - ethics - critical evaluation 6.00
5. Biology and Behaviour - neurons - the nervous system - the brain - the cerebral cortex - the endocrine system - evolution and evolutionary psychology - heredity 5.00
6. Motivation and Emotion - perspectives - drives - goal setting - self determination - intrinsic motivation - implicit motives - hierarchy of needs 5.00
7. Sensation and Perception - thresholds, signal detection, feature detectors, and sensory adaptation - vision - visual perception - hearing - smell and taste - skin and vestibular senses 6.00
8. Learning - classical conditioning - operant conditioning - latent and observational learning 6.00
9. Intelligence - theories of intelligence - measurement of intelligence - extremes of intelligence - testing controversies - determinants of intelligence 6.00
10. Thought and Language - concept formation - problem solving - creativity - reasoning - decision making - language 5.00
11. Consciousness - sleep and dreams - hypnosis and meditation - meditation and biofeedback - depressants, stimulants, and hallucinogenics 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Burton, L & Younger, A 2012, Study guide to accompany Psychology: Australian and New Zealand edition, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Australia.
  • Burton, L 2010, An interactive approach to writing essays and research reports in psychology, 3rd edn, John Wiley and Sons, Brisbane.
  • Burton, L, Westen, D & Kowalski, R 2012, Psychology: Australian and New Zealand edition, 3rd edn, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Australia.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Coon, D & Mitterer, O 2010, Introduction to psychology: gateways to mind and behaviour, 12th edn, Brooks/Cole, Pacific Grove, CA.
  • Huffman, K 2010, Psychology in action, 9th edn, John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, NJ.
  • McBurney, DH 2002, How to think like a psychologist, 2nd edn, Prentice Hall, NJ.
  • Myers, DG 2006, Psychology, 8th edn, Worth, New York.
  • Weiten, W 2007, Psychology: themes and variations, 7th edn, Thomson/Wadsworth, Belmont, CA.
  • Zimbardo, PG & Gerrig, RJ 2004, Psychology and life, 17th edn, Pearson/Allen & Bacon, Boston.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Private Study 105.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
CMA M/C TEST 1 10 5 16 Mar 2012 (see note 1)
CMA M/C TEST 2 16 8 30 Mar 2012
PRAC REPORT INTRO PEER 1 0 0 31 Mar 2012
CMA M/C TEST 3 20 10 04 May 2012
CMA M/C TEST 4 24 12 25 May 2012
CMA M/C TEST 5 30 15 08 Jun 2012
EXPERIMENTAL LOG 5 5 11 Jun 2012

  1. There is no final examination for PSY1020.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the students' responsibility to attend and participate appropriately in all classes scheduled for them, and to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Specifically, students are encouraged to actively participate in the online course environment and discussion forums, etc., on a weekly basis.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course. Refer to statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the Examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after feedback has been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    Final grades for students will be determined by the addition of the marks obtained in each assessment item, weighted as in the Assessment details.

  6. Examination information:
    There will not be a Final Exam for PSY1020 in semester 2, 2011. All examinable material is assessed in the 5 CMA tests.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There will not be a Final Exam for PSY1020 in semester 2, 2011. There will be no Deferred/Supplementary examination.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. Such copies should be despatched within 24 hours of a request to do so.

  2. Students will need to request an extension from the Examiner if they cannot submit their assignments by the due dates. Extensions will usually not be granted for workload reasons unless it can be shown that your work commitments prior to the due date for the assignment were above and beyond your normal duties or responsibilities. In such cases, a letter from your employer would be required. If you think you have grounds for an extension, you must apply BEFORE the due date. Appropriate supporting documentation will be requested by the Examiner.

  3. As there are resources cited in the Study Materials that are available on the World Wide Web, and an online discussion group that will be used throughout the course, as well as online tutorials, assignment submission and online knowledge testing - students undertaking this course will require regular access to email and reliable Internet access to UConnect to enable them to participate effectively in the course. You should consider the above information carefully when deciding whether or not to take this course.

  4. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide. //